I don’t remember the year Ivorian superstar Freddy Meiway’s classic single Zoblazo hit the Ghanaian music market. What I do remember, however is that, Zoblazo was a party starter and a people’s favourite tune. It was a song found on every DJs playlist and the reason was very obvious: it was so irresistible to ignore. Zoblazo instantly made Meiway a household name in Ghana. Meiway has since then performed in Ghana on numerous occasions, as guest acts of other big named Ghanaian artistes including Amakye Dede and Kojo Antwi.
According to music website discogs.com, Meiway’s opus Zoblazo was released in 1991. The song was the lead single of his debut album with the same name. The album (cassette) contained songs such as Vis A Vis, 200% Zoblazo, Ma Sarah, Essika. The success of the song led to the Grand-Bassam native, Meiway release various remixes of the song under various percentages- Zoblazo 200% and Zoblazo 1000%. What made Zoblazo such a smash hit was its up-tempo and electrifying rhythms, traces of Nzema words in the lyrics as well as the simple one line chorus. Everyone got caught in the Zoblazo vibe.
The video for Zoblazo seemed more like a homage to the Ivoirian Navy considering the location (beach), costume (naval uniform) and concept of the video (party hour for officers after a day’s job). The video began with the navy band waking up their compatriots via drumrolls and a horn section of the song before the organist came in to complete the soundtrack.
Drumrolls and trumpets playing the Zoblazo tune woke the ‘Naval’ officers. The officers, in their all white uniform filed out of their ship onto a parade ground for a drill. Freddy Meiway, who played the ship Captain, is seen washing his face and subsequently making an announcement from his ship to the officers (introducing the Zoblazo song). There was a parade by officers which ‘Captain’ Meiway inspected a guard of honour.
One of the memorable things about this video is the costume of the dancers. Their all white, shiny and silky costume can’t be forgotten. Again the choreography and the many ‘wind your waist’ dance moves was were executed. One thing I never understand watching the video again is the flying guitar *scratches head*
Many decades down the line since its release, Zoblazo not only evokes a nostalgic feeling but also sounds extremely evergreen. The rhythms, the chorus and delivery still sounds fresh and alive. The magic of Zoblazo lies in the fact that it still commands many to the dance floor even today.